This report will represent the means in which the ‘war on terror’ has been broadcasted to viewers of the general public and how the Mass Media has yet to include the full scale of the damages, misconduct and sacrifices that were set in motion in September 2001, shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, as the George W Bush administration launched the global “war on terror” with the termination of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The purpose of highlighting the topic of ‘the war on terror’ is that without personal investigating and research it is noticeable that western media and governing bodies have undersold the severity of the acts set in motion in 2001 by filtering the information released. In our first paragraph I will highlight my findings on the information that is passed onto the public through academic sources while my second paragraph will hold details regarding the information passed to the public visa more accessible mass media the third paragraph will be the information that is not included this will be supported using the Gatekeeper theory to support the analysis before finally moving onto the conclusion.
I have chosen two sources in order to relay the representation of the ‘war on terror’ in this report, the first of which is the former “US President Barack Obama urging delegates from 65 countries attending a three-day White House summit on combating violent extremism, to “confront the warped ideology” espoused by terror groups, particularly efforts to use Islam to justify violence. “These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy and all us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative” Associated Press. Available at Associated Press Video Collection, EBSCO Accessed 11.1.2018. This short video gives a great insight to the political crisis that has risen from the ‘war on terror’ originally brought about from the Bush campaign of 2001 after the 9/11 terror attack the 17 yearlong conflict has brought about a unity of countries working together to root out the terrorist cells that operate out of countries in the Middle East. However other than showing the political agenda of the gathered 65 delegate representatives this source gives very little information regarding the multitude of tragedies that have taken place over almost the last two decades rather in its stead the former President Obama takes his speech in the direction of crediting Muslim officers and employees ensuring that the topic of the ‘war on terror’ remains about terror and not the so commonly confused ‘war on Islam’ This source does however inform the audience that U.S. officials have said roughly 20,000 volunteers from around the world have joined IS or other extremist groups fighting in Syria where the target of these cells are young Muslims who are easier to manipulate and control.
Our second source is in the format of an online ebook. Chapter 15 sets out the aftermath of 9/11 and the journalistic, news and media attention the terror attack ultimately had upon the world’s military and economic superpower. The terror attack upon the World Trade Centre is still the most newsworthy event that has been reported upon during the ‘war on terror’ campaign. Where hijacked planes caused a devastating attack on the centre of Western military, economic and cultural power this excessive moment in terms of news value that it almost stretched credulity. Michael Semati writes, this was not only a news story but the stuff of dark, Hollywood dreams, whereby ‘geo-political and cultural worlds came together … in a lethal and monstrous moment of blockbuster imagination’ (Semati, 2002: 214).
What began on 11 September 2001 was determined, in part, by the enormity of the event in news terms this was the first historic event where the US was attacked upon its own soil since its founding this therefore unleashed a series of narrative conventions. The idea that ‘the world changed’ after these events was given credence less by indications of a mounting terrorist threat than by the scale of it as a news spectacle. The judgement that this attack signalled the start of a new threat became an instant cliché the retaliatory ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan and Iraq. News values play a part in the over representation of terrorism as a threat. But there is more than a set of formal properties at work. The power and shape of terrorism as a news story is formed by its political context, therefore some forms of terrorism have become more newsworthy than others. This created a coherent narrative, in which the roots of terrorism are firmly inscribed with the culture and practices of Islam.
Coming away from the use of academic sources a wide variety of different information regarding the ‘war on terror’ is available through a multitude of news outlets however these documents and interviews rarely give in depth details to the filtered information that takes away the credibility and purpose for the reasons of the ‘war on terror’. In order to properly evaluate the reasons why this happens on a large scale the implementation of the ‘gatekeeper Theory’ must be used. The ‘Gatekeeper Theory’ was first instituted by the psychologist named Kurt Lewin in 1943. Gatekeeping occurs at every level of the media from a reporter deciding which sources are to be chosen to a story editor deciding which stories are printed or covered, along with including media outlet owners and even advertisers. This means that the media is closely monitored and scrutinised under a ‘filter’ ensuring that any published news articles are true but don’t provide so much information to become intimidating or cause public outcry. Along with this the media will also report upon events that will provide the most publicity and attention due to the news being part of the consumerist and capitalist society they rely on attention and views in order to continue pushing the company to new heights an issue also remains on the political spectrum as news outlets can be Republican or Democratic, Labour or conservative. Each report and publication will be tailored to a direct way of thought that is designed for their readers in order to encourage sales rather than divulge sensitive information that may drive away loyal readers or discredit the companies name. Due to this certain aspect of the ‘war on terror’ are missed or underwhelmingly reported with a lax attitude on severity, seriousness and professionalism.
One aspect of the ‘war on terror’ beginning shortly after the Bush Campaign of 2001 – 2003 is the total civilian death toll from the years 2003-2018 This figure is an average taken from the war in Iraq only and does not include deaths from other countries or factions the peak of these deaths were seen in 2006 where just under 30,000 unarmed citizens were killed an average of 82 deaths per day over the 15 year period the documented death toll was over 200,000 civilians a little over an average of 13,000 per year https://www.statista.com/statistics/269729/documented-civilian-deaths-in-iraq-war-since-2003/ this figure however must be taken with slight dismission this is due the information provided by a secondary source that suggests strongly that the total death toll of the ‘war on terror’ starting from the 2001 Bush Campaign could range between 2 to 4 million this figure ranges between two such extremes for a simple reason ‘although 40,000 corpses had been buried in Najaf since the launch of the war, IBC Iraq Body Count recorded only 1,354 deaths in Najaf for the same period. That example shows how wide the gap is between IBC’s Najaf figure and the actual death toll – in this case, by a factor of over 30’ https://www.mintpressnews.com/do-the-math-global-war-on-terror-has-killed-4-million-muslims-or-more/208225/this extract represents how such an extreme figure difference can exist if such cases of unrecorded bodies are present and published then an accurate estimation of the damages caused by the war on terror will never be accurate. Along with this many news outlets do not take into consideration the deaths caused by the damages caused by the military during the war. The famine, disease, loss of homes, jobs and family. However rather than taking responsibility government bodies and their news outlets pass the blame onto the terror cells they are fighting in order to justify their means to an end and bare no responsibility for the damages and atrocities that they caused as a consequence of the ‘war on terror’ arguable it is viewed as a necessary sacrifice by western societies. All of these issues play a role in total amount of deaths suffered during this 17 year period a second example can be taken from the IBC (Iraq Body Count) Database where only 3 airstrikes had been recorded however it had risen to 120 to compare the ‘War on Terror’ or commonly misinterpreted as a ‘War on Islam’ a figure of x40 can be seen here such inaccuracies raise concern for how mishandled a serious and dangerous war is being represented by another governing body this in turn would affect all factions involved such as those reporting on the issue resulting in false news, researchers gathering information or for future studies once the ‘War on Terror’ ceases to continue. Furthermore, the economic damages are rarely spoken about it is seen that the US has increased their total debt by over 10% due to the ‘war on terror’